No announcement yet.

Change United's new policy for pets traveling as cargo

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Change United's new policy for pets traveling as cargo

    To read more about what I'm trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:

    With geographic mobility at an all time high, many people are now flying to visit family and friends for extended periods of time during holidays and extended work breaks. Rather than leave their beloved pets at home, in a kennel or with someone who doesn't care for them properly, they pay for their pets to fly with them. Large pets, such as dogs who don't fit in pet carriers, must unfortunately be checked as cargo.

    For years, United's policy was to check the dogs in as checked luggage at the baggage claim and pick them up at the destination airport as baggage claim. Since United's recent merger with Continental, they have adopted Continental's policy regarding traveling pets and they now require pets to go through a separate agency (PetSafe) in order to fly. Not only is PetSafe inconvenient -- it requires advanced reservations, the customer service line routinely requires 45-60 minute waiting time, and phone representatives are unobliging and rude -- but pets are also limited to only certain flights whose routes are often longer and therefore harmful to the pet's well being. Indeed, my dog was to travel from New Orleans to San Francisco. We intended him to fly on the direct flight to SFO but then found out (after we booked our own flights) that PetSafe would not allow him to fly on that direct flight because the MSY office only worked with old Continental flights and could not accomodate "old United" flights yet. Instead, they made us book him on a flight from New Orleans to Houston (where summer temperatures are often scorching) and then to San Francisco -- a route that takes an extra 3 hours, requires a layover, and where he will now be traveling separate from my husband and me.

    Furthermore, their new fees are astronomical. Indeed, for one 65lb labrador retriever to travel home with me from California to Louisiana, it cost me nearly $800 ($400 each way). These fares are much higher than what United used to charge ($250 each way) and even higher than competing airlines such as American Airlines ($175 each way). Additionally, I believe these fees are just a quick "money grab" for United so that they can blame policy changes for their new ability to extort customers who love their pets and would do anything for their safety.

    I propose United makes a close examination of their partnership with PetSafe and their surrounding pet travel policies. If changes are not implemented soon, I will take my (until now) unwavering loyalty to United to another airline, where my pets health and well being are valued above and beyond the additional revenue they obtain from their new pet travel policies.